“It was indeed general views that were terrible; short ones, contrary to an opinion sometimes expressed, were the refuge, were the remedy.”
James, “The Middle Years,” p.341
How are general and short views different? Is it expressing the idea that focusing on smaller, more fanciful ideas takes one’s mind off of troubling things, like watching the three people on the beach? This shows how observation can be used as a tool to help someone stay refreshed and not overwhelmed by the future of their life.